July 15, 2024

Eat On-The-Go Healthy!

Rushing here, rushing there! Late for this appointment, need to return that phone call! Everyone is busy, busy all the time! Rest assured, eating healthy on-the-go IS possible. All it takes is a little planning ahead. Having healthy food convenient is key.

Join #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat this Monday 5pm(Pacific)/8pm(Eastern) on Twitter and pick up healthy eating tips, nutritious snacking ideas and on-the-go best food choices!

Here’s how to join:

Log onto your Twitter account and follow @HealthyWayMag to see the chat questions. Questions for discussion will be posted as Question 1, “Q1″, Question 2, “Q2″ and so on. Contribute your answer and experience via answers to Question 1 noted as “A1″, designating your answer to Question 2 as “A2″ and so on. Interact with others, chat, exchange ideas, training tips and have fun!



Monday September 28, 2015 #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat welcomes Co-Host Helen Agresti, R.D:

Helen is the founder of Professional Nutrition Consulting and The 24_7 Dietitian app. She’s a mom of 5, contributor for the Huffington Post, triathlete, and chocolate lover. Helen is passionate about educating families on how to cook healthy meals and snacks at home. You can now receive Helen’s Personal Nutrition Coaching thru her 24_7 dietitian app-available on iOS and android. Go to www.pronutritionconsulting.com for more info.

How to Eat Clean While Eating Gluten-Free by Gretchen Scalpi, R.D.

How To Eat Clean While Eating Gluten-Free

Clean eating is a lifestyle from the 1960′s that revolves around eating whole foods that are minimally processed or refined.  It sounds easy doesn’t it?  Sadly so much of our food now is overly processed or handled that adopting this lifestyle can take some work.  However, if you must eat gluten-free clean eating can be a natural progression.

Clearly you must avoid processed foods along with preservatives, artificial ingredients, trans fats and chemicals.  Add more dishes that include raw and fresh fruit and vegetables.  Base your diet around vegetables, fruits and gluten-free grains, beans, legumes, lean or vegetarian proteins and fats.  Add unprocessed nuts to salads and use them as snacks.

With clean eating you don’t try to eat less… you strive to eat more.  Eat three full meals and at least two snacks a day.  The goal is to keep yourself full of healthy, clean and gluten-free food so that you keep your energy level throughout the day.

Choose organic food as much as you can find and afford.  Go to farmer’s markets on the weekend and look for fruit and vegetables that is grown without pesticides.  Be brave and add new fruits and vegetables to your diet as often as possible.

Ditch refined sugar by eliminating soda, candy, baked goods and ice cream.  Use honey or maple syrup in recipes where sugar is included.  If you must use artificial sweeteners choose a product with stevia in it.

Drink water all day long while avoiding fruit juices, soda, sweetened coffee drinks.  You can also drink tea, coffee and milk but minimize how much coffee drink.  Reduce or eliminate alcohol.

Consider taking your own food to gatherings or eat before you leave. Avoid fast food and fried food. If you must eat on the go without packing a meal then go for a salad and ask for no croutons and use an oil and vinegar dressing.

Try keeping snacks on hand that fit both your gluten-free and clean eating lifestyle and are easy to eat.  Some of our favorites are bananas, nuts, hard boiled or deviled eggs, bell pepper slices, carrots, apples and celery with nut butter, popcorn, pumpkin seeds, Edamame, roasted chick peas and tuna packed in sunflower oil or water.

To optimize your gluten-free clean diet start exercising every day.  If you are out of shape start by adding walking to your day and move up to more vigorous exercise when you are ready.  As always consult your physician before making any dietary or exercise related changes in your life.

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, author and Certified Wellcoach® who has celiac disease and know the challenges of eating right with this condition. Gretchen is pleased to announce her new online program “Gluten-free Bootcamp”, designed to help those who need to follow the gluten-free diet. If you are new to the gluten-free lifestyle for medical or health reasons, you’ll want to attend Gretchen’s new free webinar “Five Things You Should Know Before Going Gluten-free

Try a New Whole Grain this Week by Gretchen Scalpi R.D.

Most of us eat the same grains over and over again:  pasta, rice, and wheat.  How about trying a new whole grain in place of one of your old standbys?  One whole grain that we think is really worth a try is buckwheat.  Japan, China and Korea have been cultivating buckwheat for over 1,000 years and a favorite food item soba noodles made with buckwheat has become very popular in the United States.

Buckwheat flour is commonly added to commercial pancake mix and this is how most people even know of its existence.  However, buckwheat is much more than just an addition to a breakfast pancakes.  In its lesser known forms, there are many health and nutritional benefits that could make buckwheat a wonderful addition to a “whole foods” diet. Contrary to its name, buckwheat is not a form of wheat at all.

Whole buckwheat is a very nutritious food. The protein in buckwheat contains the eight essential amino acids. Buckwheat is also rich in many B vitamins as well as phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese, and has Alpha-Linolenic Acid, which is one of the two essential fatty acids we must have in our diets.

In addition to its nutritional value, there are a few health benefits that make this food worth your consideration:

-Buckwheat is a high fiber food. 1 cup of cooked buckwheat groats contains over 4 grams of dietary fiber.
-Because it is high in fiber and has a low glycemic load, and is a good carbohydrate choice for people with diabetes.
-Many grains lack protein but buckwheat has more than corn, wheat or rice.
-Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
-Buckwheat is a gluten-free alternative to grains, which makes it a healthful grain alternative for people with celiac disease or wheat sensitivity.

Buckwheat Groats: hulled grains of buckwheat, triangular in shape and resembles other grains. The seeds from buckwheat can be used to make flour after being removed from the husk.

Buckwheat Kasha:  kasha, or roasted hulled buckwheat kernels, may be sold whole or cracked.  You may find it ground into coarse, medium, or fine consistencies. The variety you use will depend on the consistency you need for the dish you are preparing.  Buckwheat groats and the roasted version, kasha are usually cooked in a manner similar to cooking rice. Either can be used to make hot cereal, added to soups or casseroles, or used as a side dish.

You can find an abundance of recipes in cookbooks and on the internet that include buckwheat so now is the time for you to start adding it to your diet!

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Wellcoach®. She is the author of “The EVERYTHING Guide to Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes 2nd Ed.”, “The EVERYTHING Diabetes Cookbook 2nd Ed.”, “Virtual Grocery Store Tour: Getting The Most Nutrition Out Of Your Food Shopping”, “Pre-Diabetes: Your Second Chance At Health”, “The Quick Start Guide to Healthy Eating”, “The Quick Start Guide To Pre-Diabetes” and “Quick Start Recipes For Healthy Meals”.  Read her articles, recipes and blog at http://www.nutritionxpert.com and learn more about her books at http://www.gretchenscalpi.com.


Get with the Beet! By Helen Agresti, R.D.

Nutritional Benefits of Beets

Beets are root vegetables grown beneath the soil. They are consumed raw, pickled, juiced, roasted, or steamed. Like any vegetable, beets lose some of their nutrient potency when they’re cooked, especially for long periods of time. Beets are known for their low calorie yet high sugar content. Don’t let the high sugar content scare you. For instance, sugar that comes from a piece of candy spikes our blood sugar level almost instantly. The sugar contained in a beet is released gradually into our bloodstream, which makes it an ideal source of energy for athletes who train or compete for several hours during the day.

Beets contain tryptophan, which provides us with a feeling of relaxation and ease similar to what we experience after eating chocolate. Some individuals that suffer from depression consume beets as a natural remedy to enhance their mood.

Studies have shown that the high levels of antioxidants in beets help to prevent various forms of cancers. Their ability to cleanse the liver and purify our blood helps our immune system fight illnesses by neutralizing toxins, which are later excreted through the urine.

Beets are also high in natural nitrates, which turn into nitric oxide as they travel through our bodies. Nitric oxide increases our blood oxygen level by widening the diameter of our blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure and enhance energy supply. This puts beets at the top of my super food list for athletes looking to increase endurance and stamina.

Like most vegetables, beets are high in fiber. Dietary fiber intake is important for our digestive and cardiovascular health. Most of us don’t consume the recommended 25 grams of fiber per day. Eating more vegetables like beets will definitely help us reach our goal.

Give Beets a Try

If you’re new to the world of beets, start by blending them fresh into a juice or smoothie with fruits like mango, orange, and pineapple. This will help your taste buds get acclimated to their unique taste. Also, beets are digested more easily when they’re blended into a liquid. If you’re feeling adventurous dive right into a fresh beet after it’s been roasted or steamed and maximize on their incredible array of nutritional benefits.

Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti. For more information and beet recipes, go to www.pronutritionconsulting.com.


Stick to your Healthy Lifestyle by Helen Agresti, R.D.

How to stick with your Healthy Lifestyle


Focus your attention in 3 major areas:


1. Work your body!  Schedule 3-5 days of exercise each week.  If you typically hit a plateau or experience boredom a month or two into the New Year, the next few tips will serve you well.

Instead of a mid-week rest day, add in a stretching or yoga class to your routine.  Keep your fitness momentum going while also allowing sufficient rest and recovery for your muscles. Consider including restorative-type exercise into your routine.

Try something new.  Whether it’s a personal training session or a spin class, surprise your body and metabolism with a completely different type of workout.

Be accountable.  Pair up with a friend or family member.  Studies have shown that we are more apt to stick to our workout routines if we have a set time and place to meet someone.  Having a workout buddy to lift your spirits on those days you don’t feel like exercising is an essential motivator.

2. Prepare ahead for the mid-day slump.  Pack wisely for those times of the day when your healthy eating habits are challenged (typically between 3pm and 5pm.) Have a healthy snack packed for that time of the day when you feel like attacking the nearest vending machine or MacDonald’s drive-thru.  Cheese and crackers, sugar snap peas and hummus, and lightly salted pistachios are healthy mid-day snacks and travel well.

3. Reach for the fabulous 5.  Five servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day will keep you looking younger and feeling more energized.  The beauty of theses colorful super foods is that they rotate their deliciousness throughout the 4 seasons.  Take advantage of their power packed nutrients by spreading 5 or more servings among breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.  Make this nutrition goal for yourself and your family: try one new fruit or vegetable every week by incorporating it into a meal or snack.

Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti and on the web www.pronutritionconsulting.com

Holiday Party Know-How by Helen Agresti, R.D.

5  Ways to Control Calorie Intake at Holiday Parties

1.  Be a smarty before you party.  When we go all day without eating or skip lunch prior to a party, this usually leads to unhealthy choices throughout the remainder of the day.  Make time for a cup of soup, small salad with vegetables and black beans or a few whole grain pita slices with hummus.

2.  Choose foods with power! Foods that contain a high content of protein, fiber and water (fish, lean meats, beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables) have the highest satiating power.  Simple carbohydrates and high fat foods (cookies, cakes, breads, and cheeses) have a lesser effect on our sense of “fullness.”

3.  Give yourself 20.  Practice good portion control by waiting 20 minutes in between visits to the buffet table.  This gives our bodies time to recognize the satiating power of the food we just ingested.

4.  Hydrate and deflate.  Beer, wine, and sugar-laden drinks are high in calories and have zero nutritional value.  Naturally, the more we drink the more we visit the restroom.  For every alcoholic beverage, drink one glass of water.  Staying hydrated will decrease the likelihood of headaches, fatigue, and feeling bloated the next day.

5.  Do yourself a favor and enjoy the flavors.  Socialize away from the food.  Mindless eating often occurs when we’re engaged in conversion and food is close at hand.  Always eat sitting down and enjoy your holiday meal

Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti and on the web www.pronutritionconsulting.com

Going Guten Free by Gretchen Scalpi

Going Gluten Free…

In the past few years, there has been a huge increase in the variety and availability of gluten free food choices. Most grocery store chains now devote an entire aisle to “health foods” and consumers will find many gluten free choices there.

Lately, I’ve had clients without celiac disease or gluten intolerance ask whether they should go on a gluten free diet to improve their health. The emergence of many food products, along with some help from celebrities and TV talk shows have made the gluten free diet popular indeed.

So should you go gluten free?  The short answer to this question is “it depends on your why you are doing it.” For those diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, the gluten free diet is the only treatment for getting well.  For everyone else, it’s NOT likely to be the magic bullet to weight loss or better health.

For years I have helped clients with celiac disease or gluten intolerance learn how to navigate in food markets and restaurants so that their food choices are gluten free.  The learning curve for going gluten free is pretty steep. It can take weeks or months to learn how to get gluten completely out of your diet. Just learning what foods are gluten free and how to read ingredient lists on labels is a daunting task itself.

This past week I got to experience that learning curve first hand, when I received my own diagnosis of celiac disease.  To say I was stunned is an understatement. Having none of the classic signs of celiac disease, it took me several days just to process this reality.  The proof, of course, was in the blood work and a small intestinal biopsy.  Had I not seen those results for myself, I would not be convinced.  So here I am in the same shoes as my clients who have to think about every food they choose to eat.  Fortunately for me, I already know what to look for and how to prepare gluten free foods.  It’s just that I’ve never had to do this before.

Yesterday I spent the better part of the day planning for the items I will need for my meals.  I’m weeding out those items I will no longer use.  It’s unlikely that I will purchase many of the packaged gluten free products, as many are high in calories and low on fiber and nutrition.  I’ll stick to the whole foods and try my hand at baking some gluten free items from scratch, using gluten free whole grains.  I know I will miss eating many favorite foods (pizza and pasta for starters), but fortunately I am fond of many naturally gluten free foods that I already eat on a regular basis.

In the weeks to come, as I adjust my style of eating I’ll add some recipes and observations about living the gluten free lifestyle to my blog.  I’m sure that even with my training and knowledge of the subject, there’s still lots to learn.

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Wellcoach®. Gretchen is the author of the books “The Quick Start Guide To Healthy Eating”, “The Everything Guide to Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes”, “The Everything Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd ed.”, “Pre-Diabetes Your Second Chance At Health” and the “Virtual Grocery Store Tour”.  Visit her website at http://www.nutritionxpert.com.

How to Boost your Metabolism by Helen Agresti, RD


Boost your metabolism with these easy tips:

1.  Say good morning to your body. Drink at least 8 oz. of water when you wake up.  Water purifies the body and makes for a more favorable environment for nutrients to be absorbed.

2.  Eat a well-balanced breakfast. Your first meal of the day should include protein, carbohydrate, and fiber. Keep variety and timing a priority. We don’t eat the same thing for dinner every night. Why do we eat the same thing for breakfast everyday?  Give your metabolism a boost by eating within an hour and a half of waking up.

3.  Make time for lunch. Fueling our engines every 3-4 hrs with real food is essential to our metabolism. We’d never allow our cars to run on the wrong type of gas or on empty. Avoid convenience foods and map out your healthy meals and snacks.

4.  Distribute your calories evenly throughout the day. Waiting until the evening hours to consume the majority of your calorie needs increases insulin levels, promotes fat storage, and results in weight gain. By the end of the day, our metabolism slows down and doesn’t burn calories as efficiently.

5.  Add some spice. Cayenne pepper, ginger, and dark mustard are just a few of the many spices that kick the metabolism into high gear. Their thermogenic effect naturally raises the metabolism and can burn up to 50 calories per meal.

6.  Increase your lean body mass. We have the ability to increase our lean body mass.  Incorporate weight or resistance training into your workout routine 2-3 times per week. The more LBM you have the higher your metabolism is at rest.

7.  Sleep well. Not getting enough sleep will slow down our metabolism. It can lead to a ravenous cycle of overeating. When we’re tired we don’t want to cook which leads to poor food choices. Try to sleep 7-8 hours a night. In turn, this will increase your leptin hormone level which communicates with the brain when you’re appetite is satisfied.


Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti and on the web www.pronutritionconsulting.com.

The Powerful Benefits of Antioxidants by Rachael Roehmholdt

The Powerful Benefits of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are powerful molecules that inhibit the oxidation of other molecules in the body. This process of cell oxidation is what creates free radicals. Free radicals can lead to diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, immune system impairment, cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease when there aren’t any antioxidants to create balance in these molecules.

While having antioxidants readily available in your body is necessary for preventing these diseases, they’re also beneficial for creating an overall well-functioning body. For example, the beta carotene you find in carrots and sweet potatoes can help protect your eye health. Lycopene which is found in tomatoes helps to protect prostate health. In addition, the flavonoids in tea, cocoa and chocolate are great for your heart.

There are plenty of fresh organic fruit and vegetable sources of antioxidants, so as long as you’re eating these – you’re helping fight off free radicals and disease for your future and maintaining good overall health.

Here are a few powerful sources of antioxidants that you can begin eating now:
Beans (red, kidney, pinto, black beans)
Cherries, prunes, peaches, plums and other stone fruits
Blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries
Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples
Artichokes, broccoli, kale, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes
Chocolate and cocoa powder

From this list you can see that the most beneficial foods to get adequate amounts of antioxidants and fight free radicals are whole foods straight from nature. Fill up on a few of these each day to help keep your body functioning at it’s peak and fight off future disease.

Rachael Roehmholdt is a certified holistic health coach and founder of Be More Healthful. With a passion for good food and living a healthful and balanced life, she believes that small changes to our everyday lives can set us up for a lifetime of health and happiness.

Balanced Breakfast by Heather Mangieri, RD

5 Balanced Breakfast Picks by Heather Mangieri, RD

Though you probably didn’t hear it here first, it’s worth repeating; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And although so many of you know this, you’re still coming up with cop-outs that stop you from eating this morning meal.

Studies show that breakfast eaters have better concentration, attention span and memory which means better overall work performance. Plus, it’s been shown that those people that skip their am fuel are 75% more likely to be overweight than regular breakfast eaters.

The best bang for your breakfast buck is a balance of protein, healthy fats and slow digesting carbohydrates that contain fiber. That’s easier said than done for breakfast-skippers. If you’re ready to commit, start small. A wedge of cheese and a piece of fruit is a good start, and you can build from there over time. Once your internal hunger clock has been reset and you crave food in the morning, you can build a better breakfast.

Here are a few ideas:

1.) Veggie omelet- Sauté a variety of vegetables in a pan with a little olive oil.  Once they are soft, transfer the veggie mixture to the inside of your omelet along with the 2 Tbsp feta cheese.  Balance it out with a side of berries and a slice of whole grain toast.

2.) Breakfast Wrap- Fill a whole wheat tortilla with black beans, 1/3 c whole grain rice and 2 Tbsp avocado and 2 Tbsp Salsa. Balance it out with a side of fruit.

3.) Greek yogurt- Mix some slivered almond and berries (or dried fruit) into 4 ounces of Greek yogurt. Balance it out with some low-fat granola or a whole wheat mini-bagel.

4.) Breakfast Sandwich- Layer 1 fried egg, 1 slice ham, 2 tomato slices, and 1 Tbsp hummus between a whole wheat English muffin. Serve with ½ banana.

5.) Hot Cereal- Make a meal of out your basic bowl of oatmeal by swirling in a mix of walnuts, dried prunes and cinnamon. Balance it out with ¼ cup cottage cheese for some added protein.

Heather Mangieri is a national media spokesperson, registered dietitian and owner of Nutrition CheckUp in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information visit nutritioncheckup.com. You can follow Heather on Twitter @nutritioncheck and join her facebook community at https://www.facebook.com/NutritionCheckUp